ADIGRAT, NOVEMBER 30, 2021 (CISA)-Bishop Tesfaselassie Medhin, the bishop of the Catholic eparchy of Adigrat in the troubled Tigray has criticized the joint report by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights on the situation in the region.
After a period of media censorship in the region, the bishop said the November 3 report does not represent the reality on the ground.
“Like all Tigrayans, the Catholic Church in Tigray is very affected by this genocidal war waged against us by local armies and foreign armies, with physical, psychological and spiritual attacks on our laity, our priests, our nuns and our structures,” he said in a in a video published on November 24 by Dimtsi Weyane Television, a local channel.
On November 3, a joint report by the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights mentioned daily massacres, kidnappings, torture and sexual violence against civilians in the Ethiopian region of Tigray. The two organizations also suggested that possible war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed by all parties to the conflict.
Bishop Medhin termed what is happening in Tigray is “genocidal war” and that the report does not mention war crime and genocide by name.
He points out that the team of investigators “did not visit the localities where genocidal war crimes and massacres took place that we know, without identifying and meeting the surviving victims.
“Therefore, the report of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is an incomplete report, it does not reveal the truth about the incredible atrocities that have been widely committed,” he stressed.
Bishop Medhin also called on the members of the Ethiopian Catholic Church in Addis Ababa and in the rest of the regions to demand justice against the persecutions and the atrocities which have been inflicted on the Tigrayans, on the priests, nuns, to lay people in the service of the faithful in the respective ecclesiastical jurisdictions.
“We strongly condemn the detention of the head of the Catholic Religious Congregation of the Salesians of Don Bosco in Addis Ababa, as well as the members of the community and the staff of their offices,” he referred to the detention from November 5 by the Ethiopian authorities in Addis Ababa.
Bishop Medhin appealed to the government and members of the international community to look into the humanitarian situation of the people who he says for months have been deprived humanitarian food aid and basic services.